Neville Hobson

Ten Chinese superlatives

In The Economist this week, there’s a fascinating feature about China and the country’s development of its infrastructure – roads, railways, airports, etc.

As with much of the writing in The Economist, it’s a well-written and compelling piece that draws you into the story.

And what a story.

With almost every paragraph, I felt bombarded, smacked in the face with fact after fact of which many are real eye openers.

For instance:

All that asphalt, concrete and airplane and vehicle emissions. Wonder what the environmental impacts will be in such a short time period.

An interesting aside on the appalling weather that affected much of China in January and earlier this month and what that means for infrastructure development, from The Economic Observer Online, the website of the independent Chinese weekly:

The slew of snowstorms and deep freezes that have swept across China have had contained but significant effects on businesses, infrastructure, and the economy as a whole. As power grids, roads, and rails were strained or shut down entirely, already-high prices on everyday goods continued to climb. But it’s not bad news for everyone – rebuilding efforts may mean better infrastructure, looser price controls, and windfalls for companies that win government projects.

Anyway, do read the full story in The Economist if you want to get a sense of just how China is bootstrapping itself into the 21st century.

And still read it notwithstanding any critical thoughts you may have about a country that has a poor human rights record and a government that routinely tramples on its own citizenry, as The Economist’s story points out.

Yes, it’s quite a story.

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